Lily Allen on the difference between British and American culture

UK pop star moved to New York, where she lives with her husband, ‘Stranger Things’ star David Harbour, and her two children, in 2020

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 14 March 2024 15:36 GMT
Lily Allen confesses she loves her children ‘but they ruined her career’

Lily Allen has spoken about what she perceives as a difference in British and American culture, in the first episode of her new podcast, Miss Me.

The pop star and actor presents the twice-weekly show with her lifelong friend, Miquita Oliver, during which they discuss topics including their careers, family and social issues.

Allen, who rose to fame with singles such as “Smile” and “LDN”, appeared to agree with Oliver’s suggestion that Americans throw better awards ceremonies than the Brits.

|They find it easier to be like, what is the right word, gushy…?” Oliver said. “I think we’re a little bit too aware of ourselves to just thank God and thank our families and cry and be overwhelmed. I feel like everyone’s a bit too stush here…

“Also, (the SAG Awards) was just classily done. There was just something a bit chic about the whole thing. Which is not how I felt after watching the Brits…”

While she offered up the Baftas as an example of a “classy” British awards ceremony, Allen said she believed it was a “cultural thing” where Americans were more likely to be enthusiastic about an artist’s creative achievements.

“I think that one of the reasons that I moved here (America) is because I feel like it’s a much more encouraging environment in which my children can thrive,” she commented.

“An example of that would be when I decided to do a play (2:22 A Ghost Story) even though I’d never acted before, and certainly didn’t have any experience in the theatre. When I would tell Americans about it they’d be like ‘oh my God, that’s so exciting! You’re gonna learn so much, you’re gonna kill it!’ and when I’d tell English people about it, they’d be like ‘a play? Have you ever done that before? Aren’t you scared?’”

She continued: “Like culturally, we’re just very different. And so I think an awards ceremony, in America you’re vulnerable and emotional and proud of yourself, whereas in England we have an attitude of like ‘yeah well, so what, it’s an award, don’t really care anyway’.”

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Allen and Oliver recently appeared on the Radio Times podcast, where the singer claimed she believes that having children “ruined” her career in pop music.

“My children ruined my career,” she told host Kelly-Anne Taylor. “I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, they totally ruined it.”

Allen has two daughters with her ex-husband Sam Cooper: Ethel Mary, born in 2011, and Marnie Rose, born in 2013. She moved to New York with her children in 2020, where she has a home with her husband, Stranger Things star David Harbour.

Continuing her point, Allen said she was frustrated by the notion that you could be equally successful as a parent and in your career.

“Does not mix,” she said. “I get really annoyed when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t.”

Miss Me is available now on BBC Sounds.

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